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Tipsy (Drunken!) Cherries: How do you get 'em liquored up? :)

kattyeyes Jun 15, 2010 06:20 PM

It's cherry pickin' season and I thought it'd be fun to make some tispy cherries. So far I've seen recipes with Maker's Mark, tequila, rum, 151, orange liqueur, vodka...any favorite recipes to share? I'd love to get them tipsy, then dip them in chocolate...what say ye? I'm starting to think Cruzan vanilla rum might be nice...

Here's the tequila & orange liqueur one:

I've seen a recipe for making cherries with Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur.

Talk to me, 'hounds.

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  1. TrishUntrapped RE: kattyeyes Jun 15, 2010 06:40 PM

    I soak em in Kirsch for trifles.

    1 Reply
    1. re: TrishUntrapped
      bushwickgirl RE: TrishUntrapped Jun 15, 2010 10:14 PM

      Yeah, Kirsch or that Cherry Herring stuff, although I haven't had that in so long I can't remember if it's any good. I was given a bottle of imported Italian cherries marinated in brandy, they were "intense," so that's another possibility, or use the maraschino liqueur. Brandy may be your best choice, actually.

      I do like your rum/orange liqueur/vanilla recipe as well. Nice with a chocolate dip.

    2. alanbarnes RE: kattyeyes Jun 15, 2010 10:45 PM

      Brandy is a classic. Don't break out the Louis XIII, but a drinkable brandy will play nicely with fruit.

      1. corneygirl RE: kattyeyes Jun 15, 2010 11:31 PM

        I've done cherry vanilla w/ dried cherries and rye whiskey (ala some Chow post). Really want to do fresh w/ bourbon cuz that is 2 of my favorites all in one. Besides, what goes poorly w. bourbon.

        2 Replies
        1. re: corneygirl
          kattyeyes RE: corneygirl Jun 16, 2010 03:39 AM

          Thanks, everybody...I'll let you know what I decide!

          bushwickgirl--what is not to love about "intense" and Italian?! ;)

          corneygirl, have I told you lately I dig your avatar...BIG FAN of Emily Strange and her black katties!

          1. re: kattyeyes
            corneygirl RE: kattyeyes Jun 16, 2010 10:12 AM

            Emily isn't evil... she's just up to no good.


        2. JoanN RE: kattyeyes Jun 16, 2010 04:22 AM

          Every year when sour cherries are in the market I put up a couple of quarts in Maraschino Liqueur. I've tried other combinations of sour and sweet cherries and different kinds of alcohol, but this is the one combination I make over and over again--perhaps because I use them mainly as a garnish for Manahattans.

          I didn't care as much for sweet cherries in either Wild Turkey or brandy. But if you're going to macerate sweet cherries, you should use one of the firmer varieties such as Bing or Van. Other varieties were okay if you use them within the first month or so, but didn't hold up to the booze for the long haul.

          5 Replies
          1. re: JoanN
            kattyeyes RE: JoanN Jun 16, 2010 11:01 AM

            Thanks, Joan--yes, they're Bings. Do you prick them with a toothpick as suggested here?

            1. re: kattyeyes
              JoanN RE: kattyeyes Jun 16, 2010 02:48 PM

              I pit my cherries. I tried not pitting them once and worried that my guests might break a tooth. Guess that's less of a concern if they're dipped in chocolate.

              1. re: JoanN
                kattyeyes RE: JoanN Jun 16, 2010 03:30 PM

                I decided to poke holes for maximum tipsiness. Some I made silly patterns just 'cause I was in a playful mood--my favorites are the smiley faces...as though the cherry is smiling 'cause it's drunk. HA HA HA!

                I went with Cruzan vanilla rum, Van Gogh Dutch chocolate vodka and 43 Liqueur. The rest of the virgin (!) cherries are for wholesome snacking and I plan to dip a few in white chocolate with matcha powder. Talk about antioxidants!!! :)

                1. re: kattyeyes
                  JoanN RE: kattyeyes Jun 16, 2010 04:17 PM

                  Love the look of keeping the stem on, something you can't do it you pit them.

                  Never heard of 43 Liqueur. About to go look it up. Let us know which you thought worked best.

                  1. re: kattyeyes
                    bushwickgirl RE: kattyeyes Jun 16, 2010 11:11 PM

                    The Licor 43 sounds yummy!


            2. greygarious RE: kattyeyes Jun 16, 2010 04:37 PM

              From Jacques Pepin:
              During the summer, when cherries are plump, ripe, and juicy, put up cherries in alcohol and keep them in the cellar to enjoy during the winter. My mother always had some preserved cherries on hand. Served with some of the cherries, this eau de vie makes a great after-dinner drink. I sometimes use pure grain or fruit alcohol (about 190-proof) that I dilute by half with distilled water, but if this is not an option, substitute vodka.

              Trim the stems of about 1 pound large sweet cherries such as Bing, leaving about 1/2 inch of stem attached to the cherries. (If the stems are pulled out, the alcohol will permeate the cherries, making them soft and mushy instead of firm and crunchy.) In a bowl, mix about 1/2 cup light corn syrup and 1 1/2 cups eau de vie or vodka. Pack the cherries into a Mason jar and pour the alcohol mixture over them so it just covers the fruit. Cover the jar with a tight-fitting lid and set aside in a cool place for at least a month. Serve in a brandy glass with some of the liquid. The cherries will keep for a couple of years.

              12 Replies
              1. re: greygarious
                JoanN RE: greygarious Jun 16, 2010 06:06 PM

                Hate to question Jacques Pepin, but I just don't see the point in macerating cherries in vodka. I guess the eau de vie would be good, but that's not what I'm putting up cherries for. I also don't see the point of trimming the stem to half an inch. If you're going to keep the stem, why not keep the whole stem? It makes for a much more elegant presentation.

                Finally, curious what book this came from. I'd almost be willing to bet that if he were printing this recipe today he might add a bit of sugar if he thought it absolutely necessary, but I'd be really surprised if he still recommended the use of corn syrup.

                1. re: JoanN
                  greygarious RE: JoanN Jun 16, 2010 08:45 PM

                  It was from his newest TV series, More Fast Food My Way. It's my guess that he chose corn syrup for the viscosity.

                  1. re: greygarious
                    bushwickgirl RE: greygarious Jun 16, 2010 10:57 PM

                    Sugar and corn syrup both readily dissolve in alcohol, so that's not the issue. It seems like his method and presentation were his family's time honored technique of preserving the cherries.

                    Perhaps the French are not so reluctant to use corn syrup occasionally as we Americans can be.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl
                      EWSflash RE: bushwickgirl Aug 4, 2011 07:34 PM

                      I'm guessing that the knee-jerk thing about corn syrup comes from the hfcs scourge that gets so much bad press. Corn syrup has been a kitchen staple (think Karo Syrup from days of old). It has its uses, as long as you don't put gobs of it in every supposedly savory thing on earth that you eat.

                      1. re: EWSflash
                        charlesbois RE: EWSflash Aug 4, 2011 07:41 PM

                        but gobs of cornsyrup is the most delicious way to eat it

                  2. re: JoanN
                    alanbarnes RE: JoanN Jun 16, 2010 11:15 PM

                    At 190 proof, there will be absolutely no difference in flavor between eau de vie and grain alcohol. And I suspect that the reason for using such neutral spirits is to emphasize the flavor of the cherries, not the liquid in which they're preserved.

                    And why do you think that corn syrup wouldn't be used? We're not talking about HFCS here, but simple Karo. It dissolves easily at room temperature, and has its own flavor profile. What's wrong with that?

                    1. re: alanbarnes
                      NE_Elaine RE: alanbarnes Jun 17, 2010 03:52 AM

                      Thank you for posting this - I think people are starting to paint corn syrup with the same brush as HFCS because they don't understand the difference.

                      1. re: alanbarnes
                        JoanN RE: alanbarnes Jun 17, 2010 04:27 AM

                        In the quote above he says the alcohol in which the cherries were macerated “makes a great after-dinner drink,” so he's talking about making a flavored brandy as well as preserving the cherries.

                        And whether the corn syrup is engineered to be high fructose or not, it’s still made from cornstarch and—Karo Light, at least—has salt and vanilla added to it. I’ve never added salt to my brandied fruit and if I wanted vanilla in my flavor profile I’d add a bean.

                        It just sounds to me as though it’s a very old recipe from a time when corn syrup was on every kitchen shelf and people were making grain alcohol in their backyard. Nothing wrong with that. It’s just not a recipe—for either cherries or an after dinner drink—that I would want to use today.

                    2. re: greygarious
                      coll RE: greygarious Jun 17, 2010 02:38 AM

                      So glad to hear they last a couple of years! Just remembered I have a couple of small jars in the back of the fridge from last summer, think I'll bring them to the Fourth of July party I'm attending as they tried a few last fall and really enjoyed. Better than Jello shots! Pretty sure I used Kirshwasser this time.

                      1. re: greygarious
                        pomericoo RE: greygarious Aug 4, 2011 07:10 PM

                        Having done this process as it was written, all the jar lids started to bulge and when opened, they fizzed. I've not noticed anyone else mentioning this.....does anyone know what I did wrong?

                        1. re: greygarious
                          ewilke RE: greygarious Dec 24, 2011 08:03 PM

                          I tried this and the cherries became virtually white and/or discolored. Is this supposed to happen or is there something that I did wrong. I took a mason jar, added Caro, Vodka, and cherries. closed it and put in the pantry about 6 months ago. Any suggestions?

                          1. re: ewilke
                            JoanN RE: ewilke Dec 24, 2011 08:41 PM

                            See my post above about some varieties of cherries just not holding up for the long haul. I had that happen once when I used a cherry other than Bing. It's one of the reasons I now stick to sour cherries for macerating.

                        2. a
                          AnotherMother RE: kattyeyes Jun 17, 2010 04:23 AM

                          Try macerating them in neutral alcohol (I use mid-price vodka, white rum will do, too). Add sugar to taste, make sure that the alcohol covers the fruit, cover, and store for at least a year. Turn the bottle from time to time.

                          They will hold for several years, and the liquor improves greatly as time goes by. Make sure you leave the pits in as they add an elusive and delicious flavour. To tell the truth, I really prefer the liquor to the fruit, although the fruit is heavenly with vanilla icecream.

                          Proportions are dictated by your personal preferences, but go easy on the sugar as it can tend to pull the moisture out of the fruit.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: AnotherMother
                            greygarious RE: AnotherMother Jun 17, 2010 10:21 AM

                            I assume the "elusive and delicious" flavor is almondy. In another thread, simmering the juice and pits together after pitting cherries is recommended. I discovered "pit-in" dried apricots from an online source. They have an additional, oaky amaretto flavor. Amaretti cookies are flavored with apricot kernels, not almonds. Stone fruits (Prunus) are all related to almond, so it's likely that keeping the pits in while preserving any stone fruit in alcohol will add an extra dimension of flavor.

                          2. buttertart RE: kattyeyes Jun 17, 2010 10:18 AM

                            I was given a 1.5 kilo foodservice pack of French griottes in alcohol a while back - it was just 80 proof (40%) spirits they were done in per the label, and man are they good. It seems to me you want the cherry flavor to predominate and neutral spirits do that.

                            1. w
                              will47 RE: kattyeyes Jun 17, 2010 05:47 PM

                              I usually use the brandied cherry recipe from the book "Art of the Bar".

                              http://sloshed.hyperkinetic.org/2008/... has a scaled down version, though I usually find I need more liquid than the recipe calls for.

                              See also:

                              I personally pit the cherries ahead of time (easier to pit them all at once), but I leave the pits and stems in the jar.

                              1. kattyeyes RE: kattyeyes Jun 17, 2010 07:28 PM

                                And here they are:

                                I didn't take a pic of the chocolate-dipped ones--I might make more later, though. I will report back on the favorite flava after they have at leastone more day in the drink! Gotta say, so far, it's nom-nom-nom all the way! You can get creative with your hole-poking patterns, too...have fun!

                                P.S. Tough call how to use the flavored Cruzan vanilla rum afterwards--lemonade or a radical Cherry Coke?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: kattyeyes
                                  bushwickgirl RE: kattyeyes Jun 18, 2010 04:44 AM

                                  Radical Cherry-Vanilla Coke would be fantastic, and from the typo in your post, it looks like you've been nipping on those happy cherries...;-)

                                2. s
                                  SAnge RE: kattyeyes May 15, 2011 03:24 PM

                                  It's almost that time of year again! I am late for the original thread, but maybe this will help someone who, like me, found this old thread bouncing around google.
                                  Sour cherries are god's gift to bakers, and only available for a short time in a few areas of the country. When I lived in western NY I spent a solid week every summer picking, pitting and freezing these delectable fruits to use in pies for the next year. If you have an abundance that may go to waste, simply portion out ( I use 3-4 cups, pie size) place into a vacuum sealer bag (leave one end open!), stand up in a bowl and place in freezer. When thoroughly frozen, take bag back to the vacuum sealer, vacuum and seal.
                                  It is important to get them from tree to sealed&frozen as quickly as possible, same day if you can. If you do, you will have a fresh sour cherry pie that is almost as good as a pie made with cherries fresh off the tree in january! My frozen cherries last me all the way to next season. Sick of pies? They can be used for any other cherry recipes just as well.
                                  I'll be making the 1200 mile trip back home soon just to get sour cherries. I'm trying cherry frozen custard now to get rid of my last few bags to make room for this year's bounty.
                                  Yay cherries!

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: SAnge
                                    buttertart RE: SAnge May 16, 2011 09:10 AM

                                    I'd love it if you have conmnections to cherry farmers and could inquire on the state of the NYS crop. We've had some torrential downpours and I'm afraid the crop is going to be very light. Yesterday a lot of the "fruits" from the ornamental cherries around our place were on the ground because of the rain... :(

                                  2. c
                                    charlesbois RE: kattyeyes Aug 4, 2011 07:37 PM

                                    'bama bombs. I believe it was wild turkey, but I'd have to check with my book club pals. We read Rammer Jammer Yellow Hammer (all about Crimson Tide football).

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